The American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for Warren Beatty will be broadcast tonight at 9 pm EST on the USA Network. Beatty’s notorious romantic life and political activism has sometimes distracted the media from his achievements as an actor, writer, and director. (Expect some jokes about his appearance in two of the biggest money-losers of all time, the not-as-horrible-as-its-reputation “Ishtar” and the even-worse-than-you-can-imagine Town and Country).
Watch him in the final scenes of his very first film, Splendor in the Grass, a pioneering exploration of sexuality and repression. Beatty and co-stars Natalie Wood and Zohra Lampert are heart wrenching as each must confront the compromises necessary for achieving maturity.
His most family-friendly performance is in Heaven Can Wait, the remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan. It is the sweet romantic comedy about a football player whose soul is mistakenly taken up to heaven by an over-eager angel and who therefore must find a new body to complete his life journey.